Reston Hospital Center - July 01, 2019

Summer is the perfect, but not the only, time to think about protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays. Wearing the right sun protection will help keep your eyes, and your vision, safe. Like your skin, it’s important to protect them every day, even when it’s cloudy.

How does UV light effect your eyes?

Exposure to UV light from the sun can put you at risk for developing cataracts, macular degeneration, eye melanoma and other eye problems.

Cataracts may cause you to have cloudy vision and problems seeing at night. Vision problems may be so bad that you are not able to see well to read, function, or drive safely. Cataracts can be removed safely with surgery.

Macular degeneration damages your retina and causes you to lose the sharp central vision of your eyes. There is no treatment for macular degeneration.

Eye melanoma is a serious condition where cancer develops in the eye. Treatment for this is serious and may include surgery to remove the eye or chemotherapy.

The effects of UV light can take years to cause eye damage. Problems usually start to occur later in life.

Tips to keep your eyes protected year round

Now is the time to take action and protect your eyes. Start with these simple steps:

  • Wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.
  • Choose larger, wrap-around sunglass styles that protect your eyes from the front and sides.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat along with sunglasses when you’re outside. The shade from the hat adds additional protection.
  • Be aware of cloudy days. Damage UV light can occur whether it’s sunny or cloudy.
  • Stay out of the sun during peak hours from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Never look directly at the sun for any reason.

Practicing these habits will help protect your eyes and keep them healthy throughout your lifetime. Also, remember to protect your kids’ vision in the same way. Starting these good habits when they’re young.

To learn more, make an appointment for your eye health.